Even though the Brainerd Warriors volleyball team will undergo a facelift this season three of the new faces will be familiar.
Transfer students Brooke Rollins of Pine River-Backus and Megan Arns and Joan Ebnet of Pequot Lakes should help the Warriors replace nine graduates.
Rollins was a two-year starter at PR-B. Arns has transferred back to Brainerd after playing for the Warriors' varsity basketball and softball teams as an eighth-grader. Ebnet was a three-year starter at Pequot.
Warriors coach Heidi Hahn remembers watching Rollins last year at the Crosby-Ironton tournament.
Head coach -- Heidi Hahn, seventh year (fifth at Brainerd, 1 at Manhattan Christian High School in Churchill, Mont., 1 at CMR High School in Great Falls, Mont.)
Career record -- 98-51 (.658).
2000 finish -- 6-8 CLC, 17-11 overall
Returning players -- Bekah Hewitt, Lauren Kirkpatrick, Haley Bower.
Assistant coaches -- Carla Stall, Amy Miller, Jared Diem.
(Varsity matches 7:30 p.m. unless noted.)
13-at St. Cloud Apollo
15-at Crosby-Ironton Inv., 9 a.m.
18-at St. Cloud Tech
29-at Duluth East Inv., TBA
4-at Little Falls
6-at Pierz Inv., 9 a.m.
9-ST. CLOUD APOLLO
11-ST. CLOUD TECH
"She's a phenomenal hitter, and a great athlete," Hahn said. "She seems to be pretty smart with her attacks. It's going to be a matter of getting her used to a new system and new teammates, but I think she will be exciting to watch. And, it's a nice surprise for the conference because they don't know we have her.
"Brooke definitely has all the skills and abilities to be an all-state player."
Arns did not play volleyball at Pequot Lakes last season.
"She took the year off so she could watch her sister (Jessica), who was a senior with us," Hahn said. "In the spring, Jessica managed the softball team so she could watch Megan play softball up there. It's a neat family.
"Megan is big, strong and powerful. She's another player the conference doesn't know we have."
Hahn plans to play Ebnet as an outside and middle hitter.
"Joan is a phenomenal player," Hahn said. "She brings a lot of quickness and smartness about the game. She has played a lot of volleyball. She has played at the Junior Olympic level and on a national level this summer on a team that went to Belgium. She is one of the most sought-after volleyball players. She is getting heavily recruited."
Bekah Hewitt, an outside hitter, is the only senior returning with Warrior varsity experience. Sophomores Haley Bower, an outside hitter, and setter Lauren Kirkpatrick were promoted to the varsity for postseason play.
"Bekah probably saw the floor about 50 percent of the time last year," Hahn said. "This year she will be counted on heavily as a starter.
"For the playoffs we brought up Haley and Lauren to give us some extra depth. Both of them will be counted on quite a bit to start out the season."
Additional varsity candidates are seniors Sarah Johnson, Trisha Loisel, Noelle Razidlo, Bridget Gogolin, Melissa Bordwell, Cassie Pieri and Jvonne Larson.
Kilah Berry is another sophomore candidate.
"It's a rebuilding year and I think the biggest challenge ahead of us is forming a team," Hahn said. "The group of kids we have aren't used to playing with each other. They haven't been exposed to each other in a lot of other sports, like some kids who play three sports together. That's our biggest challenge, developing a sense of team and the trust that comes as a team, which we need to play at a high level."
The Warriors will shift to the South Subsection of Class 3A after spending the last two in the North.
This season, teams will be allowed 18 total substitutions. In the past, a player was allowed three entries into a game.
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